It was Christophe Galtier who was obviously very satisfied and in great shape who appeared before the press after his team’s 5-0 victory in Clermont. He returned at length to this great success, mentioning in particular the cases of Lionel Messi or Sergio Ramos, but also commented on the absence of Mbappé or even the undesirables of the Parisian group. The young Zaire-Emery was also entitled to a word.
We have been used in recent years to see PSG slow down in the second half in matches where they were largely leading. That was not the case tonight. Isn’t that the main satisfaction?
“The way we maintained a high pace is part of the satisfaction, especially with this desire to recover the ball as quickly as possible, regardless of the area of the ball carrier. There has been a lot of reaction to the loss, and it’s been very positive. I insist on this point with my staff, and I talk about it a lot with the players. On the match last week against Nantes (4-0) and tonight, it’s very good. »
We have the feeling that your players are having fun together on the field. Is this an important ingredient in your opinion?
“Football is a game. By definition, when you play, you have to have fun. But the pleasure can only be present if everyone evolves in unison and makes the effort for the others. First of all, there is the way we attack, with the individual quality of these great players, which means that the technical sequences are very good. Although there was some waste that we shouldn’t have had at times. There is also this desire to all work together during the pivotal moments of a match. Periods when we have to show that we are there, present, and not in relaxation. When you have brought together these two elements: the ability to play together, for each other, and to make the efforts and the compensations for each other, there is a notion of pleasure. It is something that we must work on, develop. Conserve in us regardless of the game, the score. »
A word on Lionel Messi. Beyond his goal, is it in this role that you expect him? Ready to fetch the balls from behind and distribute them.
“Messi has a very sharp, very clear tactical sense”
“Yes, I spoke with Leo during our stay in Japan, but also with the attacking sector to ensure that we can perform all the time. Leo has a very sharp, very clear tactical sense. He has a culture. He sees very quickly where he has to go. The way he defends and positions himself to play with each other shows that he is in an area he likes. He loves to play with those around him. As soon as Leo smiles, the team smiles too. »
Now let’s go back to the last goal, this acrobatic return from Lionel Messi. Despite the years, he always manages to surprise us by dribbling, moving around or finding an unexpected gesture. Were you surprised by his gesture?
“Surprised, no. I liked the goal. You know, Leo has been playing at the highest level for seventeen years. He had a slightly more difficult season last year. He had to adapt and underwent a drastic life change. All seasons before, it was at least 30 goals. From the moment that he has made a complete preparation, that he has his bearings both in life, but also within the club and his partners, there is no reason for Leo not to make a great season. When he’s paired with Kylian, we’ll have even more attacking power. But that’s why I have to find the best animation so that our offensive sector is efficient with each other throughout a match. »
Is the reduction of the group carried out to the detriment of idrissa Gueye and Mauro Icardi sustainable?
“There is what labor law allows us to do, and also the LFP (Professional Football League). That is to say that during this transfer window, we can split the group in two if we feel the need. This is possible until the end of the transfer window. Players who are in the afternoon sessions, know what their situation is. But they are professional players, which we must respect. It’s not easy for them. We will see if they can find a project that suits them, or if they will want to stay. Still, until the end of the transfer window, we can operate in this way. »
During your month at the club, have any players scored points and perhaps changed your opinion about them? Pablo Sarabia for example?
“Sarabia is an important player, who gives the right balance to our animation”
“Pablo played a lot due to Kylian’s Champions Trophy suspension. He had a high game time for… I was looking for the best offensive animation for this game. The absence of Kylian, who has a very small muscular discomfort, allows Pablo to be present and to obtain minutes. He is an important player, who gives a fair balance to our entertainment. He is very clear-sighted and is coming off a very good season. He is a Spanish international who has the ambition to compete in the World Cup. I’m obviously happy with everything he’s been doing since the 4th of July. »
How is Sergio Ramos, who held his leg after a shock and went out before the end?
“Sergio is fine, but he has had some muscle soreness. We talked about it at half-time, and it was agreed that he wouldn’t play the whole game. It’s also very good for Nordi Mukiele, who was able to get his bearings within the team. It is important that he can play with his partners, whether as a central third or right piston. This is also the importance of having been able to sign Nordi and his versatility. »
When should Mbappé return to the game?
“Kylian consulted our medical staff yesterday at the end of the session. He had a little warning in the adductors, nothing bad, but we preferred not to take any risks. I think he will be present against Montpellier. »
Warren Zaire-Emery has become the youngest player to come into play with PSG tonight. How do you judge his entry into the game and his daily work under your orders?
“Warren loves football, his job, and loves the club”
“He is a young man who seems to have a lot of maturity. He loves football, his job, and loves the club. At the start of the season, we talked a lot with the club’s sports management to give hope to our young players by telling them that it is possible to play in Paris. The formation of PSG is of quality. It is in this sense, with everything I have seen for some time, and during our preparation in Japan, that the time came to give it its first minutes. I think he will remember it all his life, but it was time. The game was almost folded. I’m very happy for him, I know he’s happy too. This is a strong signal given to our team. »